“Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, Who dwells in Mount Zion”. (NKJV)
The Book of Isaiah is known primarily as a prophetic book. It is filled with warnings and alarms of impending judgment from heaven. The book paints a picture of a peoples group who knew Yahweh’s word yet did not follow His precepts. It is rich with stories and examples of blessings and curses. People are blessed when they follow the ways and commandments of the Lord. When they do not, they enter into judgment and curses. No wonder the writer says in Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.
Isaiah understood not only his role in Israel’s destiny, but also, realized the purpose of his family within the community. He and his family were “for signs and for wonders in Israel”. The family was selected and equipped to be signposts to Israel’s misguided and disparaging relationship with the One True God.
Apart from the fact that Isaiah, the teaching prophet, was the son of Amoz, we know almost nothing about his background. We know nothing more of his wife but that she was a prophetess with prophetic gifts used in the service of Adonai Elohim. Isaiah and his “nameless” wife were one in understanding Adonai’s thoughts and counsels. Their united life was so different from the celibate life of Jeremiah, the miseries of Hosea’s home life, and the tragic loss Ezekiel suffered.
Everyone in Isaiah’s family had a specific purpose. No one was left out. Isaiah’s name means “salvation of the Lord” or “the Lord is salvation” and it is certainly symbolic of his message. The names of his two sons, Shear-Jashub and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, (Isa 8:3) also symbolized his message.
The first of their two sons was Shear-jashub whose name means, “The remnant return”. The name was prophetic of the literal and spiritual return of Israel from captivity.
The second son had an extended, mystic name, Maher-shalal-hash-baz, meaning, “haste, spoil, speed and prey”. It strongly depicts the coming Assyrian army with swiftness and precision as they “hasten to the spoil” and to the taking of Syria and Samaria, “they speed to the prey”.
Though the family did experience captivity and the dispersion of the Hebrew people throughout the world, they did not fail to carry out their family prophetic purpose. They suffered the wrath of Israel. Isaiah was sawed in half because of his message to Israel.
Their family names told the story of Israel’s situation. So what is in a name maybe warning or rebuke, perhaps, blessing and promise? What is in your name? What is your family’s purpose? Families need to wake up and realize there is a greater and there is higher purpose than to just “living under one roof” for 20 or so years together. Parents’ need to carefully name their children. For in the name is a signpost. It could be that there are marvels and wonders yet to be discovered within the family structure that will positively impact the community surrounding your dwelling place.